Instagram has created a new kind of voyeurism — in which you can look into the carefully curated windows of the rich, famous and stylish — and a new kind of lifestyle envy.If Twitter is the street, Facebook the suburban-sprawl mall, and Pinterest some kind of mail-order catalog, Instagram is the many-windowed splendor of a younger mountain village, showing all we possess or wish for, under squares of filtered glass, each photographic pane backlit 24/7. Each pane is, or intimates, an entire landscape or room. Follow enough of the international lifestyle-setters, and you’ll see: women’s fashion, men’s fashion, home or apartment décor, beautiful food, art, color-coordinated books and magazines. What feels new with Instagram is the mode of photography that feels most akin to the window display.
These are technically still life's, but in spirit they are actually the new self-portraiture. It isn’t strange to say, or to hear, from an acquaintance run into on the street, “I recognized you” — not by your face or your body, but by your “style.”The same is as true of objects as of words, and the small compositions of personal belongings so recognizable as “Instagram” are, simply, selfies without a face.